Manchester United great Rio Ferdinand has sent a strong warning to his former side over their handling of Mason Greenwood, claiming any mismanagement can ensure he has a career similar to Michael Owen.
As great a striker as the former Liverpool man was, his career was heavily blighted with injury, meaning he didn’t get to be as great as he could’ve been.
Greenwood has enjoyed a fantastic debut season, managing to already reach double figures across all competitions, being third in behind Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial as United’s top goalscorers.
The young prospect has a long way to go to match Owen’s records but the early signs point towards what can prove to be a brilliant career.
Ferdinand though was cautious, particularly over Greenwood’s minutes, calling for the Red Devils to take better care of their starlet.
According to the Mirror, Ferdinand said: “I think the kid’s a fantastic goalscorer. All through the youth levels growing up as a kid he’s been someone who has found it easy to score goals.
“Plays off both feet, fantastic talent, but he has to be nurtured correctly and I think you can’t expect him to come in and play every game just because there’s an injury to Marcus and then put it all on his shoulders.
“I think a good yard stick is to look at someone like Michael Owen. He came in as a boy wonder, huge expectations and played far too many games from a young age.
“I think that was a big factor in him having big injures later on in his career and slowing him down.
“That’s something to look at to make sure you don’t make the same mistake with Mason – nurture him the right way.”
It’s certainly something Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has tried to do all season long but it’s also something he’s struggled with at the same time.
Greenwood has done far too well to be held back too often and yet the legendary Norwegian has still tried to drip feed him minutes.
Injuries to Rashford and Martial at various intervals has also meant he’s made more appearances than he perhaps anticipated but Solskjaer has tried to rest him whenever he can.